Skip to main content

The Traffic Police Matatu Uniform Act

A lot has changed along Tom Mboya street in downtown Nairobi. It's not the hawkers who occupy the pavement and who will pick up a quarrel with you if you stand in front of their wares showing no intent to purchase them. It does not occur to them that you have the right to be on the pavement Its even worse when you step their wares when trying to avoid one of those Nairobi Jay Walkers. One thing about hawkers though, don't purchase any clothing item at night. You will end up with a pink sweater, like the one am wearing as I type this, while what you had intended was a beautiful cream one. Credit this to the yellow street lights , which if you forgot your science classes , produce other colors when mixed with actual colors.

The changes along Tom Mboya street also have nothing to do with it been a street where any Tom, Dick and Harry can try out their U turn and 3 point motoring skills. It's hard to cross this street as it is quite impossible to predict the general flow of traffic along the street.Motorists may be speeding along the wrong side of the road, driving along the middle bank that divides the lanes or doing illegal U turns and 3 point turns anywhere along the street.
Matatus
However, the changes have something to do with colours and matatus. A matatu, or those who aren't Kenyans or Ugandans are several seater vehicles that ply to and fro between two points picking and dropping passengers along the way. (P.S. I dont sit on the Oxford Dictionary committee). The change is in the colour of the matatus.

According to the police, it is a change they believe in. Before, depending on the competition , the number of youthful population of the destination and the amount of dispensable income for the destination served, some routes had matatus that were quite colourful consisting several colours , graffiti and vehicle body modification. Routes 58 (BuruBuru), 9 (Eastleigh), 111 (Ngong) and 23 (Outering) were known or their colourful matatus , graced with high power music systems, several video screens and they were all the rage with the youth. Youth boarded matatus just for the entertainment taking a round trip(or even several), and some even waited hours on end for specific matatus. There was(is) even a Facebook group and the followers even knew which matatus were off the road or repairs.

But that was until the Nairobi Traffic Department of the Kenya Police decided to bring their school system thinking into the system. The police decided that the bribes they take, their ill equipped traffic policemen who run after rule flouters with rubber batons, lack of a clear policy on traffic lights, fact that some matatus are owned & protected by police is not to blame for the unruliness on the road, especially from matatus.

Our very bright police officers have blamed it on the several colours painted on the matatus, and their music systems. A directive was then passed and enorced that all matatus have one colour and stop playing loud music.

As it defeats me how the police decided passengers cant choose matatus that fit their music tastes (from none to loud), the re-coloured single coloured matatus are now worse than ever. This single-colored, silent matatus now accomplish stunts that their multi-coloured , music playing counterparts were not known for.

A single coloured, silent matatu can now climb trees, drive in trenches, make multiple U and 3 point turns along any Nairobi street and drive on any side of the road as long as traffic is lesser on that side. If the sincle coloured, silent matatu encounters a rubber-batoned armed police officer, tie in the muddy seat belt as the matatu ramps up the pavement and even up stairs.

matatu's as they should look in the Traffic Police Uniform Act

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A to Z of Girl Pick-up Lines

Girl,  You are like a breath of fresh air , like an outstanding piece of Art in an art gallery  There are many things you and me can be, but it puts a smile of satisfaction on my face and a smile of envy on my buddies faces that you both beautiful and bootyfull  E ither your creator must have taken the greatest care creating you or your cheated your way around heaven, 'coz you clearly the prettiest girl on earth  D on't ask why my breathing quickens every time I see you; setting my eyes on you makes me feel like I am drowning in your beauty, I have to catch my breath   Exciting, Exotic, Elegant, Electrifying ; so many definitions in english , but when it comes to the human race, girl, you are the one and only definition of all the above  W hen I say you are fly , it may be due to the sensation of flying off the ground that I get when I am around you. Some girls are beautiful, a few are decent, even fewer got class; I didn't know I could find all this qualities in one gir

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

Nairobi's Top 4 Texas Brisket Places Reviewed and Ranked

Brisket on a bed of roast vegetables with barbecue sauce at Texas Brisket, Kikuyu  This review has been updated after a number of you suggested I try the brisket at County2County.  What's the best place to have Brisket in Nairobi? What's even brisket?  Brisket is one of the toughest cuts in a cow, from around the belly. It is so tough that it has to be smoked for about 16 hours to tenderise. But that there, is the catch.  12 to 16 hours later, it is the most flavourful and softest cut you will ever have. So full of flavour and so soft you can pick it apart with your fingers.  However, due to the long cooking time involved, only a few places offer brisket in Nairobi.  The best so far is Texas Brisket which is located within Kikuyu Railway station.  They do the meat for a proper 16 hours, and will usually have a fatty or non-fatty portion. The fatty portions are more tasty. A 500 gram serving goes for KSh. 900 and a 1 KG order comes with a serving of free fries. Their brisket has

Kenya Power customers suffer from Ksh 0.5 billion faulty prepaid meters

1st Phase Actaris prepaid meters , which work well Kenya Power is a famous company in Kenya, one which draws what my colleagues in media will call "mixed reactions". While those in urban areas such as Nairobi regard Kenya Power as a very unreliable firm, I have heard of villages in rural areas where blackouts go unreported for even 3 days . To the rural people, recent electrification means that at least they get to get electricity for some days, which is better than no electricity. In urban areas, the story is not any different. Around Imara Daima along Mombasa Road, power is mostly reliable, with blackouts been few in a week, and even at times been less than 10 in a month. In other places in the city, blackouts are a daily occurrence, and in some places, the blackouts are more than meals, counting two teas , breakfast, lunch and dinner. Another aspect about Kenya Power is the prepaid meters, which like the firm, are equally loved and hated. Ever since I became prou

Medicines in Kenya: Cure or Poison?

This Drug available at most hospitals here is prescribed under restriction in the United States. The medicine is often prescribed in non-deserving situations in the country. Many of us do not like medicines or visiting health centres, not that we have a choice. When one is sick, they have to visit a health centre. It's at the health centres that one is given medicines, drugs that are expected to cure the ailment. Prevention, we are told, is better than cure. For this reason, some of us will visit the health centres for preventive drugs - maybe we are a malaria prone area and are trying to limit our exposure to it. Looking at the health sector in Kenya, it is far from reaching the health for all status. The country , like many of it's neighbours, faces an acute shortage of doctors. The number has steadily been rising over the years as the government tries to train more doctors to bridge the shortfall. However, bridging the shortfall has been made difficult by many count